A brochure or informational Web site is the optimal design for a small business that doesn't sell online. Also called a static Web site, a brochure site will have the look and feel of a printed brochure with meaningful information about the business and its products and services.
While a traditional print brochure may be useful as a guideline, you will also need to know some of the best practices for Web design to create a brochure Web site that meets your objectives.
- For aesthetic appeal, the site should be created with basic design principles in mind. These include repetition of theme and balance of text, graphics as well as white space.
- The page header should contain a consistent header with the company name and logo.
- The home page should contain compelling information that speaks to the customer’s pain and everyday issues and how the business’s products and services can alleviate these.
- The page should display properly on the most popular Web browsers: Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.
- Navigation link headings should be consistently labeled for ease of use. Navigation links should lead to information similar to that of a print brochure such as an About Us page with basic company information and bios of key personnel, a products or services listing and possibly a News page with meaningful news articles, events and press releases.
- Navigation should be geared toward the target audience. For example, when designing the page, keep in mind age, education level and socio-economic status of the target customer.
- If multimedia files are included, they should serve a clear purpose. Audio and video files can substantially slow page load. Do not include unnecessary ones. Some brochure sites include a short video about company history and future.
- All content should be well written and have a meaningful message consistent with the business mission that is free of typographical and grammatical errors. Proofread!
- All hyperlinks should be double-checked at the time of going live to make certain they work and that they lead to the proper landing spot. These should be checked periodically for viability. Broken hyperlinks give a very poor impression of a business Web site.
- Every page should have a footer containing the last update, copyright information and a Webmaster email link.
The goal of the brochure Web site is to clearly illustrate the benefits of the business product or service. It should convey to the reader that you know the customer’s problems, pains and fears, and that you can help them solve these things. It is the simplest design for a Web site. Keeping things simple and clearly stating the benefits of becoming a paying customer of the business are the keys to success.